TODAY WE BEGIN A DAILY SPECIAL SERIES COUNTING DOWN THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2021.
I’ve been doing this year-end countdown since I started blogging in 2007. Let’s get started.
Plenty of changes in Franklin’s political landscape took place during 2021. Let’s examine.
THE FRANKLIN SCHOOL BOARD
For one of the few times I’ve lived in Franklin there appeared to be great interest in April’s free for all school board race.
Franklin voters needed to vote Franklin
What does that mean?
Typically in school board races throughout Wisconsin the slate of candidates as well as the actual board members are more liberal than the communities they come from. That has certainly been the case since I moved into Franklin in 1992.
The fact is Franklin is a majority conservative small city. It just is. However the school board has never truly represented the conservative values of the city in the nearly 30 years I’ve been a resident. In April’s election Franklin’s conservative voting faction, thirsting for decades for a true conservative individual (the rare exception Janet Evans) has one again in Angela Christie. She was the ONLY conservative, and in fact, arguably the only candidate worth voting for out of the seven on the ballot for conservatives.
I wrote that four of the six candidates were very liberal and would pursue a path of Marxist, racial, diversity-based policies.
If Christie was the best, who was the worst?
That’s easy. Without a doubt, Angela Bier. She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Franklin has long needed an improved high school gymnasium and associated facilities. This should be a public-private partnership, maximizing fundraising arms of the district to leverage motivated private entities’ philanthropic missions. If public funding via referendum is still required, we must commit to robust public access to the space for recreational programming.”
We already spend a fortune on our schools.
I was not impressed by her discussions during the campaign. I’ll paraphrase. When asked a question or presented with an issue Bier usually begged off, admitted she wasn’t sure of the answer, but said if elected, by golly she sure would investigate and study so she could make the right call. Very weak. No thanks.
And check out this video from January 30, 2017. Candidates for an open school board seat appeared before the board who asked the candidates questions. At the 9:00 mark Angela Bier is asked a blunt question by then-board president Janet Evans about ACT 10.
Again, scroll to 9:00.
Bier’s response shows she’s out of touch with the majority of Franklin. For the record, in the June 12, 2012 recall election, while Bier was voting against Scott Walker, 10,883 Franklin residents voted for the governor (64.92%). Tom Barrett got 5,831 votes or 34.78% (Source: Franklin City Clerk).
ACT 10 that Bier opposed saved the taxpayers of Wisconsin 4,850, 117,044 in school costs as of last March, the 9th anniversary of the legislation.
Superintendents across the state used ACT 10 to reform public schools in the areas of merit pay for teachers; flexibility for hiring, firing, and management; and greater collaboration with teachers.
Bier’s response to another question raises eyebrows. She supports “funding educational alternatives outside of the traditional brick and mortar public school building.” I’m not sure what that means and I may not want to know.
Candidate Ann Sepersky also signed the petition to recall Scott Walker.
Speaking of Ann Sepersky…
In my more than 40 years of observing local, state, and national politics, I have seen and read countless campaign brochures. And I have seen and read countless examples of resume embellishment.
On one of Sepersky’s social media posts she brags about being:
* An experienced education leader
* A successful navigator of the Franklin School Board
As Colonel Potter once said in M*A*S*H*, mule muffins.
Experience? Successful navigator? How?
Specific details seemed to be MIA.
Look, she was an incumbent by default. No one, not a soul voted for her. She’s on the board because she was appointed last fall to fill a vacancy.
Major accomplishment while in office? Try zero.
Her other claim to fame: She attended a lot of meetings. Lah-dee-dah.
Do the math. Four of the six candidates were liberal; kids last, teachers union first, that prioritize pro-Marxist, racial, equity, diverse policies and not your kids.
Christie was a slam dunk. The Invisible Man, Claude Lewis, an incumbent, was non-existent during the campaign, but could have acted as a buffer against the hard-left. A vote for Christie and Lewis could have alleviated the Lefty control of the board.
Franklin’s race was not unusual this year. More conservatives ran for school board seats than ever.
So what happened?
At the end of the night three liberals were elected. The lone conservative, my choice, Angela Christie, and a moderate incumbent, Claude Lewis, didn’t crack the top three.
Here are the final results:
Franklin Schools (3 seats)
100% of precincts reporting
Maqsood Khan 2,328 22%
Ann Sepersky 2,173 20%
Angela Bier 2,088 20%
Angela Christie 2,027 19%
Claude Lewis 1,245 12%
Shuchi Wadhwa 759 7%
About the final tally, did Franklin voters take advantage of being able to vote for three candidates? I didn’t because in my view there weren’t three candidates worth my vote, only one for sure and two at best.
Consider out of 5,655 total votes cast in Franklin there were 3,669 under votes. What does that mean? More voters DIDN’T vote for all three than did. That suggests that the 1,956 who made three choices selected the three ultimate winners.
The conservative choice for state DPI Superintendent Debb Kerr also lost in Franklin.
Did conservatives stay home? Or, and I know you should never insult the voters, were they just inexplicably non-conservative? Or just plain dumb?
Strangely Franklin’s results contrast with those in the Oak Creek-Franklin joint school board where two incumbents who favored virtual school in the fall lost their seats. We’re also starting to hear similar reports in other districts that delivered loud and clear messages to liberal school board members. Franklin went just the opposite.
BOTTOM LINE: Franklin elected a school board firmly in WEAC’s back pocket. Teachers and administrators will come first above parents and students. As I wrote before the election, after Tuesday the Franklin School Board will still be filled with liberal rubber stamps for the teachers union and the administration.
Almost immediately after the election the three new liberal board members became puppets for the school administration, consistently ignoring the concerns of taxpaying parents who regularly attended school board meetings to express those concerns.
THE FRANKLIN COMMON COUNCIL
In summer Franklin got a new alderman, and the outcome didn’t work in Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm’s favor.
Recently Alderman Dan Mayer announced he was not running for re-election next spring. Thank God. Running to fill his seat is Jamie Groark, currently a member of the Franklin Environmental Commission.
In District #5 Alderman Mike Barber is running again, and will face an opponent. And This Just In…at 1:00 today Ken Humont took out paperwork to run for alderman in District #5, setting up a three-way primary.
Related news: Examples of how the council wastes time.
THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY BOARD
When Patti Logsdon ran for the Milwaukee County Supervisor seat in the 9th District in April of 2018 (which includes part of Franklin) she claimed she was the most conservative candidate in the race, even more so than the incumbent, Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor.
Logsdon had never held office and she herself remained for the most part silent, rarely speaking about why she was the better choice. And for good reason. Logsdon is nowhere near an articulate public figure.
Because of that political flaw Logsdon relied on then-Supervisor Deanna Alexander to serve as her mouthpiece. Taylor at the time had a reputation of being a loose cannon. Alexander released a lengthy statement to the press backing Logsdon because Taylor supposedly got angry with her prior to and during a meeting and also yelled at her.
Far more damaging was County Executive Chris Abele’s desire to get Taylor ousted to the point Abele self-funded hit/attack pieces against Taylor that inundated mailboxes daily in the 9th District. As the mud flew with Taylor unable to keep up neither Logsdon nor her mouthpiece Alexander condemned the sleazy lit pieces. Instead, they held up their hands and shook their heads. Wasn’t us.
Talk radio didn’t endorse Taylor and he lost.
Prior to the Taylor-Logsdon contest I was NOT an ally of Taylor’s. But I’ve observed countless races since I first got into journalism and elections in 1978 and I could not stomach what was happening here. No way was Logsdon the clean, nice, elderly candidate she was being passed off as. I also didn’t feel she was capable of grasping the responsibilities and duties of the position. People (some, not all) were stunned at my stance. To this day I know I was right. Logsdon has under-performed and then some.
In late July of this year I suggested that Logsdon may have committed political suicide.
A few weeks later I was the emcee for an event held by the Milwaukee County Republican Party featuring guest speakers like Ron Johnson and Rebecca Kleefisch. Logsdon was in attendance but didn’t speak. She sat just a few feet from me during the nearly three-hour program on a warm, muggy night.
Afterwards many people stepped forward to compliment me. Not Logsdon.
“I’m Patti, Patti Logsdon.”
“Yes, I know who you are.”
“I’ve been hearing that you’ve been writing and saying nasty things about me. I know who you’re friends with.” She complained that I never call her or request her comment. I informed Logsdon that I stopped trying to correspond because I didn’t have to and also because she never replies anyway.
“But since you brought up the subject and decided to jump me right after a three-hour event,” I said I would answer her.
I reiterated the fact she was the beneficiary of thousands and thousands of Chris Abele dollars (people claim they despise that crap but research clearly indicates it works).
“You ran a dirty campaign” I said emphatically. Logsdon’s facial reaction matched this. She then played dumb, asserting she had nothing to do with Abele’s negative lit pieces. I would have none of that.
I blasted her saying she never publically denounced or condemned the brochures, making her complicit.
I also raised the issue of the blue fist background. Again came the fake innocence.
“That was my aide” who was responsible. Who did she think she was messing with?
Your aide works for you, I fired back. You had to be aware. You could see the image on the screen. How could you not know? And if your aide was responsible then he/ she needed to be fired.
Realizing I preferred not having a prolonged argument I generally questioned her conservative credentials. A true conservative would not have remained silent during the Abele smear jobs and would not have allowed the Blue Fist. Logsdon’s response:
“My parents think I’m a good conservative.”
I admit I ended my part of the conversation saying I hoped Steve Taylor would run against her and, AHEM, beat her badly.
One of the worst kept rumors for months is that Taylor was planning a run against Logsdon.
With units of government going through the customary redistricting process Logsdon, knowing she’s not the most well-liked person and fearful of a Taylor run, for a long time worked to get Milwaukee County lines re-drawn so Taylor would be moved out of her district.
Legal? Yes. Political? Of course. Underhanded and the work of a desperate officeholder? Again, yes.
It worked. Logsdon stays in district 9 where she will enjoy the advantage of incumbency, and Taylor now lives in district 17 where there’s an open seat.
Logsdon doesn’t have to worry about Taylor. But will she face an opponent, well-known Don Schwartz of Hales Corners.
Anyone who lives in Franklin who votes for her would be misguided. Logsdon is no friend to the city of Franklin. She has openly badmouthed businesses located near The Rock and those who support that critical component of our quality of life. Logsdon is absolutely clueless about her district. She needs to go. I’ll have more throughout the upcoming campaign.
THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2021
10) FRANKLIN POLITICS